People have high expectations of website design and functionality. Like, really high. A survey conducted by Visible Logic found that 100% of the survey respondents have left a website because it was poorly designed or difficult to use and 80% of people have chosen a product, service or company over another because it had a better website.
Design and functionality of your website can make or break your business, so make sure your website is helping, not annoying, your customers.
3 website features to ditch
Everyone has their own pet peeves when it comes to website design, but the following are features that have become universally disliked and are frustrating enough to send your customers to a competitor’s website:
I can honestly say I have never heard someone get excited when they open up a “top 10” article to find out that each item had its own slide. No, usually I hear people say, “Slideshow?! Not worth my time.” Slideshows mean readers have to keep reloading the page to see a new item and people do not have the patience for that – especially if they expected to just quickly browse a list article. I understand that ad dollars fuel this article format, but unless you’re a magazine or other media type, your company shouldn’t be running ads. So stop using slideshow articles.
Multi-page articles frustrate readers for the same reason as slideshow articles–they just want to scroll and scan your article. It sounds dramatic, but seeing that “next page” button is enough to scare readers away. If you are worried about your article looking too long on one page, format it in a way that makes it easier to read. Use short paragraphs, break it up with headings and use bullet points.
- Pop-ups that show before users have entered your website – BAD
- Pop-ups that show before users have had a chance to look at anything – BAD
- Pop-ups that are difficult to close out of – BAD
- Pop-ups with Flash elements – BAD
- Pop-ups that take up the whole page – BAD
Ok, now that we got that out of the way, there are pop-ups that are good and useful. The best pop-ups are small and placed somewhere you know people will actually care about them. This is a biased example, but the Allee blog has a few pop-ups hidden throughout. We make it so they don’t show unless someone has scrolled at least halfway through an article and then it promotes something we think readers of that specific blog post will enjoy. To see one of these pop-ups, scroll through our blog post, 5 ways to use Twitter as a nonprofit.
In that same survey by Visible Logic, 96% of the respondents replied that they think that it should be a priority for a business to invest in and update their website. Invest in your brand and image by ditching dated and annoying website features. Your customers will thank you.
Bonus tip: Your website visitors will be accessing your site from their mobile devices. Make sure that it is responsive. If it isn’t already, creating a mobile-friendly, responsive website should be priority number one for the rest of this year. Your awesome features and designs won’t matter if people can’t view your website on any device they choose. In fact, you’ll loose some of your Google cred if you don’t move to mobile-friendly pages, too.